Innkeepers, Susan and her husband Nick, are on hand to attend to guests’ needs and keep this family-run inn operating smoothly.
In November 2006, Susan (Schuster) Karalekas bought the inn, fulfilling a long-held dream of owning a Bed and Breakfast. She has always enjoyed welcoming people into her home, preparing and serving food, and accommodating guests; for Susan, hospitality seems to be in her blood.
Susan’s experience in the hospitality industry stems from being born into a family who owned restaurants in Maine during her childhood and working in restaurants and food service throughout her high school and college years. Extensive travel throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, the Caribbean and Central America, Thailand, and Australia has given her the opportunity to see the hospitality industry through the eyes of a tourist. She likes her B&B to offer the food, service, and cleanliness that she likes to receive when she travels. She thoroughly enjoys being an innkeeper, chatting with guests from around the world, and suggesting attractions, restaurants, and activities that meet guests’ particular needs and interests.
Susan’s academic and professional background is in applied psycholinguistics, communications, and writing, which landed her in the field of technical writing. She has also done a variety of volunteer work, in direct care, as a board member of various non-profit organizations, in fund-raising for religious and under-served populations in the USA and abroad, and writing newsletters and other materials for non-profit organizations. Her spirit of caring and giving shows in how she runs her inn.
In June 2009, Susan married Nick, a history professor at a local college, who quickly adapted to the B&B. In addition to teaching, he enjoys writing, music, and tennis, all of which the Monadnock Region makes comfortable to pursue. He is also well-traveled, particularly to Europe, and has been able to easily interact with the B&B guests. After retiring from teaching in 2014, Nick has become more involved in running the inn.
Susan’s personable son, chef David, repeatedly delighted guests with his delicious, creative, and aesthetically presented breakfasts. David also assumed a major role in the inn’s accounting and other aspects of managing the inn, including landscaping while he completed his bachelor’s degree at Keene State College (May of 2013) with a major in Economics. From September of 2016 until spring of 2020, David lived in Yonkers, New York while pursuing graduate studies. He returned to the inn during vacations and semester breaks and cooked his acclaimed breakfasts. After receiving a Master of Divinity degree from St. Vladimir’s Orthodox Theological Seminary (May of 2020), he moved to Ohio to serve in his field. He has since returned and will be helping out on occasion, as his career and time allow.
Susan’s daughter, Elizabeth, and her family lived at the inn off and on until the summer of 2013. Elizabeth shared her expertise in customer service, marketing, and purchasing. Her passion for keeping the inn as “green” as possible helped us establish recycling, composting, purchasing environmentally friendly supplies, organic coffee, and other organic / natural food products, and doing anything to keep us environmentally responsible and conscientious.
The Spring 2021 issue of “atHome” magazine featured the Bridges Inn at Whitcomb House and its innkeepers in their “atHome with History” article.